Original article was published by Yadvi Bhalla on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


A Company dominating with Machine Learning…

You’ve undoubtedly heard of IBM’s Watson by now; the computer that won Jeopardy back in 2011.

What’s the reason behind it’s success?

Let me tell y’all one interesting thing, it can do task in nano-seconds what would take a human years — or decades — to do. Surprising, isn’t it? But how is it possible that a computer which is actually created by the human beings themselves can perform the task more efficiently and faster than them? Yes, and if your answer is machine learning, you have guessed it! But how machine learning works behind the scenes? How machine learning is successful in giving brains to our artificial machines? Unlike computers, intelligence is a natural gift for human beings. And Machine Learning is that field in computer science in which we make our computers intelligent.

Computer algorithms organize enormous amounts of data into information and services, based on certain instructions and rules. It’s an important concept to understand, because in machine learning, learning algorithms — not computer programmers — create the rules. Yes, your machine will create the formulas and the rules to solve a particular use-case. But before our computers can solve the problems and predict the future, we have to train them, we have to be the INSTRUCTORS for our systems 🙂

Before telling our computers to learn, we have to create a mind for them, after that we have to dump or fit the data in the mind so that our computers will gain experience in the same way we learnt how to drive a car from our experience.

“Experience is the best way to learn for human beings as well as for our computers.”

And that’s how IBM created WATSON. Watson is an IBM supercomputer that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated analytical software for optimal performance as a “question answering” machine. The supercomputer is named for IBM’s founder, Thomas J. Watson. But Watson’s been following self-learning behavior models and has done everything from diagnosing certain types of cancers more effectively than oncologists, writing songs, and producing movie trailers. I am telling you, when I first came to know about it, I was surprised, it’s amazing how our computers learnt and became more intelligent than us!

Watson was designed, however, to consume data at a drastically faster rate than a human can, to learn from it, and augment human capabilities. In the case of cancer treatments, Watson can read half a million medical research papers in 15 seconds and was trained at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York to be able to suggest diagnoses and treatments to doctors. If you are curious and wants to check more about Watson, head over to

When created, IBM stated that, “more than 100 different techniques are used to analyze natural language, identify sources, find and generate hypotheses, find and score evidence, and merge and rank hypotheses”. In recent years, the Watson capabilities have been extended and the way in which Watson works has been changed to take advantage of new deployment models (Watson on IBM Cloud) and evolved machine learning capabilities and optimized hardware available to developers and researchers. It is no longer purely a question answering (QA) computing system designed from Q&A pairs but can now ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘read’, ‘talk’, ‘taste’, ‘interpret’, ‘learn’ and ‘recommend’.

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